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The 2015 AFC Champions League was the 34th edition of Asia's premier club football tournament organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and the 13th under the current AFC Champions League title.

2015 AFC Champions League
Tournament details
Dates4 February – 21 November 2015
Teams49 (from 21 associations)
Final positions
ChampionsChina Guangzhou Evergrande (2nd title)
Runners-upUnited Arab Emirates Al-Ahli
Tournament statistics
Matches played126
Goals scored334 (2.65 per match)
Attendance2,123,583 (16,854 per match)
Top scorer(s)Brazil Ricardo Goulart (8 goals)
Best player(s)Brazil Ricardo Goulart
2014
2016

Guangzhou Evergrande won the tournament after defeating Al-Ahli in the final. Guangzhou also qualified for the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup.[1]

Western Sydney Wanderers were the defending champions, but they were eliminated in the group stage.

Contents

Association team allocationEdit

The AFC Competitions Committee proposed a revamp of the AFC club competitions on 25 January 2014,[2] which was ratified by the AFC Executive Committee on 16 April 2014.[3] The member associations are ranked based on their national team's and clubs' performance over the last four years in AFC competitions, with the allocation of slots for the 2015 and 2016 editions of the AFC club competitions determined by the 2014 rankings:[4]

  • The top 24 member associations (MAs) as per the AFC rankings are eligible to receive direct slots in the AFC Champions League, as long as they fulfill the AFC Champions League criteria.
  • In both the East and West zones, there are a total of 12 direct slots in the group stage, with the 4 remaining slots filled through play-offs.
  • The top six MAs in both the East and West zones get direct slots in the group stage, while the remaining MAs get play-off slots:
    • The first- and second-ranked MAs each get three direct slots and one play-off slot.
    • The third- and fourth-ranked MAs each get two direct slots and two play-off slots.
    • The fifth-ranked MAs each get one direct slot and two play-off slots.
    • The sixth-ranked MAs each get one direct slot and one play-off slot.
    • The seventh- to twelfth-ranked MAs each get one play-off slot.
  • The maximum number of slots for each MA is one-third of the total number of clubs in the top division (e.g., Australia can only get a maximum of three total slots as there are only nine Australia-based clubs in the A-League).

The AFC Competitions Committee finalised the slot allocation for the 2015 and 2016 editions of the AFC Champions League based on the criteria, including AFC's MA rankings and the implementation of club licensing regulations, on 28 November 2014.[5][6][7]

Participation for 2015 AFC Champions League[6]
Fulfills participation criteria
Does not fulfill participation criteria
Notes
  1. ^ a b c Iraq (2 play-off slots), Lebanon and Syria (1 play-off slot each) were allocated slots for the 2015 and 2016 AFC Champions League, but were not allowed to participate in the 2015 AFC Champions League as none of their teams passed the club licensing requirements for 2015.

TeamsEdit

The following 49 teams from 21 associations entered the competition.[8]

In the following table, the number of appearances and last appearance count only those since the 2002–03 season (including qualifying rounds), when the competition was rebranded as the AFC Champions League.

Notes
  1. ^ Vietnam (VIE): Hà Nội T&T entered the AFC Champions League instead of Hải Phòng, the 2014 Vietnamese Cup winners, as Hải Phòng did not pass the club licensing requirements.[9]
Location of teams of the 2015 AFC Champions League.
  West Zone
  East Zone
(p) Qualifying play-off participants

ScheduleEdit

The schedule of the competition was as follows (all draws were held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).[10]

Stage Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Preliminary stage Preliminary round 1 No draw 4 February 2015
Preliminary round 2 10 February 2015
Play-off stage Play-off round 17 February 2015
Group stage Matchday 1 11 December 2014[11] 24–25 February 2015
Matchday 2 3–4 March 2015
Matchday 3 17–18 March 2015
Matchday 4 7–8 April 2015
Matchday 5 21–22 April 2015
Matchday 6 5–6 May 2015
Knockout stage Round of 16 19–20 May 2015 26–27 May 2015
Quarter-finals 18 June 2015[12] 25–26 August 2015 15–16 September 2015
Semi-finals 29–30 September 2015 20–21 October 2015
Final 7 November 2015 21 November 2015

Qualifying play-offEdit

The bracket for the qualifying play-off, which consisted of three rounds (preliminary round 1, preliminary round 2, and play-off round), was determined by the AFC based on the association ranking of each team.[13] Each tie was played as a single match, with the team from the higher-ranked association hosting the match. Extra time and penalty shoot-out were used to decide the winner if necessary. The winners of each tie in the play-off round advanced to the group stage to join the 24 automatic qualifiers. All losers in each round which were from associations with only play-off slots entered the 2015 AFC Cup group stage.[1]

Preliminary round 1Edit

Team 1  Score  Team 2
East Zone
Yadanarbon   1–1 (a.e.t.)
(5–6 p)
  Warriors
Johor Darul Ta'zim   2–1 (a.e.t.)   Bengaluru FC

Preliminary round 2Edit

Team 1  Score  Team 2
West Zone
Al-Qadsia   1–0   Al-Wehdat
El Jaish   2–1   Al-Nahda
Al-Sadd   0–0 (a.e.t.)
(11–10 p)
  Riffa
East Zone
Hà Nội T&T   4–0   Persib Bandung
Chonburi   4–1   Kitchee
Guangzhou R&F   3–0   Warriors
Bangkok Glass   3–0   Johor Darul Ta'zim

Play-off roundEdit

Team 1  Score  Team 2
West Zone
Al-Ahli   2–1 (a.e.t.)   Al-Qadsia
Naft Tehran   1–0   El Jaish
Bunyodkor   2–1   Al-Jazira
Al-Wahda   4–4 (a.e.t.)
(4–5 p)
  Al-Sadd
East Zone
FC Seoul   7–0   Hà Nội T&T
Kashiwa Reysol   3–2 (a.e.t.)   Chonburi
Central Coast Mariners   1–3   Guangzhou R&F
Beijing Guoan   3–0   Bangkok Glass

Group stageEdit

The draw for the group stage was held on 11 December 2014.[13] The 32 teams were drawn into eight groups of four. Teams from the same association could not be drawn into the same group. Each group was played on a home-and-away round-robin basis. The winners and runners-up of each group advanced to the round of 16.

Tiebreakers

The teams are ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss). If tied on points, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:[1]

  1. Greater number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
  2. Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
  3. Greater number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
  4. Greater number of away goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
  5. If, after applying criteria 1 to 4, teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 4 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 6 to 10 apply;
  6. Goal difference in all the group matches;
  7. Greater number of goals scored in all the group matches;
  8. Penalty shoot-out if only two teams are involved and they are both on the field of play;
  9. Fewer score calculated according to the number of yellow and red cards received in the group matches (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card);
  10. Team who belongs to the member association with the higher AFC ranking.

Group AEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification LEK PER NSR BYD
1   Lekhwiya 6 4 1 1 9 5 +4 13 Advance to knockout stage 3–0 1–1 1–0
2   Persepolis 6 4 0 2 7 7 0 12 3–0 1–0 2–1
3   Al-Nassr 6 2 2 2 7 6 +1 8 1–3 3–0 1–1
4   Bunyodkor 6 0 1 5 2 7 −5 1 0–1 0–1 0–1
Source: AFC

Group BEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification AIN NAF PAK SHB
1   Al-Ain 6 3 3 0 7 2 +5 12 Advance to knockout stage 3–0 1–1 0–0
2   Naft Tehran 6 2 2 2 8 8 0 8 1–1 1–1 2–1
3   Pakhtakor 6 1 3 2 6 8 −2 6 0–1 2–1 0–2
4   Al-Shabab 6 1 2 3 5 8 −3 5 0–1 0–3 2–2
Source: AFC

Group CEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification HIL SAD FOO LOK
1   Al-Hilal 6 4 1 1 9 4 +5 13 Advance to knockout stage 2–1 2–0 3–1
2   Al-Sadd 6 3 1 2 9 9 0 10 1–0 1–0 6–2
3   Foolad 6 1 3 2 2 4 −2 6 0–0 0–0 1–0
4   Lokomotiv Tashkent 6 1 1 4 10 13 −3 4 1–2 5–0 1–1
Source: AFC

Group DEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification AHS AHU NSF TRA
1   Al-Ahli 6 3 3 0 11 7 +4 12 Advance to knockout stage 2–1 2–1 2–0
2   Al-Ahli 6 2 2 2 8 8 0 8 3–3 0–0 3–2
3   Nasaf Qarshi 6 2 2 2 5 5 0 8 0–0 0–1 2–1
4   Tractor Sazi 6 1 1 4 7 11 −4 4 2–2 1–0 1–2
Source: AFC

Group EEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification KSW JHM SLT BBD
1   Kashiwa Reysol 6 3 2 1 14 9 +5 11 Advance to knockout stage 3–2 2–1 5–1
2   Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 6 3 2 1 14 6 +8 11 0–0 4–1 3–0
3   Shandong Luneng Taishan 6 2 1 3 13 17 −4 7 4–4 1–4 3–1
4   Becamex Bình Dương 6 1 1 4 6 15 −9 4 1–0 1–1 2–3
Source: AFC

Group FEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification GAM SNM BUR GRF
1   Gamba Osaka 6 3 1 2 10 7 +3 10 Advance to knockout stage 2–1 1–1 0–2
2   Seongnam FC 6 3 1 2 7 5 +2 10 2–0 2–1 0–0
3   Buriram United 6 3 1 2 12 7 +5 10 1–2 2–1 5–0
4   Guangzhou R&F 6 1 1 4 3 13 −10 4 0–5 0–1 1–2
Source: AFC

Group GEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification BJG SSB BRI URA
1   Beijing Guoan 6 3 2 1 6 3 +3 11 Advance to knockout stage 1–0 0–1 2–0
2   Suwon Samsung Bluewings 6 3 2 1 11 8 +3 11 1–1 3–1 2–1
3   Brisbane Roar 6 2 1 3 7 9 −2 7 0–1 3–3 1–2
4   Urawa Red Diamonds 6 1 1 4 5 9 −4 4 1–1 1–2 0–1
Source: AFC

Group HEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification GET SEO WSW KSM
1   Guangzhou Evergrande 6 3 1 2 9 9 0 10 Advance to knockout stage 1–0 0–2 4–3
2   FC Seoul 6 2 3 1 5 4 +1 9 0–0 0–0 1–0
3   Western Sydney Wanderers 6 2 2 2 9 7 +2 8 2–3 1–1 1–2
4   Kashima Antlers 6 2 0 4 10 13 −3 6 2–1 2–3 1–3
Source: AFC

Knockout stageEdit

In the knockout stage, the 16 teams played a single-elimination tournament, with the teams split between the two zones until the final. Each tie was played on a home-and-away two-legged basis. The away goals rule, extra time (away goals do not apply in extra time) and penalty shoot-out were used to decide the winner if necessary.[1]

BracketEdit

  Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                                             
  Persepolis 1 0 1  
  Al-Hilal 0 3 3  
    Al-Hilal 4 2 6  
    Lekhwiya 1 2 3  
  Al-Sadd 1 2 3
  Lekhwiya 2 2 4  
    Al-Hilal 1 2 3  
    Al-Ahli 1 3 4  
  Naft Tehran (a) 1 1 2  
  Al-Ahli 0 2 2  
    Naft Tehran 0 1 1
    Al-Ahli 1 2 3  
  Al-Ahli (a) 0 3 3
  Al-Ain 0 3 3  
    Al-Ahli 0 0 0
    Guangzhou Evergrande 0 1 1
  Suwon Bluewings 2 2 4  
  Kashiwa Reysol (a) 3 1 4  
    Kashiwa Reysol 1 1 2
    Guangzhou Evergrande 3 1 4  
  Seongnam FC 2 0 2
  Guangzhou Evergrande 1 2 3  
    Guangzhou Evergrande 2 0 2
    Gamba Osaka 1 0 1  
  Jeonbuk Motors 1 1 2  
  Beijing Guoan 1 0 1  
    Jeonbuk Motors 0 2 2
    Gamba Osaka 0 3 3  
  FC Seoul 1 2 3
  Gamba Osaka 3 3 6  

Round of 16Edit

In the round of 16, the winners of one group played the runners-up of another group in the same zone, with the group winners hosting the second leg.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
West Zone
Al-Sadd   3–4   Lekhwiya 1–2 2–2
Persepolis   1–3   Al-Hilal 1–0 0–3
Al-Ahli   3–3 (a)   Al-Ain 0–0 3–3
Naft Tehran   2–2 (a)   Al-Ahli 1–0 1–2
East Zone
Suwon Samsung Bluewings   4–4 (a)   Kashiwa Reysol 2–3 2–1
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors   2–1   Beijing Guoan 1–1 1–0
FC Seoul   3–6   Gamba Osaka 1–3 2–3
Seongnam FC   2–3   Guangzhou Evergrande 2–1 0–2

Quarter-finalsEdit

The draw for the quarter-finals was held on 18 June 2015. Teams from different zones could not be drawn into the same tie, and there was no seeding or country protection, so teams from the same association could be drawn into the same tie.[14]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
West Zone
Al-Hilal   6–3   Lekhwiya 4–1 2–2
Naft Tehran   1–3   Al-Ahli 0–1 1–2
East Zone
Kashiwa Reysol   2–4   Guangzhou Evergrande 1–3 1–1
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors   2–3   Gamba Osaka 0–0 2–3

Semi-finalsEdit

In the semi-finals, the matchups were determined by the quarter-final draw.[14]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
West Zone
Al-Hilal   3–4   Al-Ahli 1–1 2–3
East Zone
Guangzhou Evergrande   2–1   Gamba Osaka 2–1 0–0

FinalEdit

In the final, the finalist from the West Zone hosted the first leg, while the finalist from the East Zone hosted the second leg (no draw was held to determine the order of legs, as it was reversed from the previous season's final).[14]

Al-Ahli  0–0  Guangzhou Evergrande
Report
Guangzhou Evergrande  1–0  Al-Ahli
Elkeson   54' Report
Attendance: 42,499

Guangzhou Evergrande won 1–0 on aggregate.

AwardsEdit

Top scorersEdit

Rank Player Team MD1 MD2 MD3 MD4 MD5 MD6 2R1 2R2 QF1 QF2 SF1 SF2   F1     F2   Total
1   Ricardo Goulart   Guangzhou Evergrande 1 3 2 2 8
2   Yang Xu   Shandong Luneng Taishan 2 1 1 2 6
  Ahmed Khalil   Al-Ahli 1 2 2 1 6
4   Youssef Msakni   Lekhwiya 1 1 1 1 1 5
  Omar Al Soma   Al-Ahli 1 2 2 5
  Asamoah Gyan   Al-Ain 1 1 1 2 5
7   Patric   Gamba Osaka 2 1 1 4
  Takashi Usami   Gamba Osaka 1 1 2 4
  Masato Kudo   Kashiwa Reysol 2 1 1 4
  Lee Dong-gook   Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2 2 4
  Carlos Eduardo   Al-Hilal 2 1 1 4
  Diogo   Buriram United 1 3 4
  Lima   Al-Ahli 1 1 1 1 4
  Everton Ribeiro   Al-Ahli 1 1 1 1 4

Note: Goals scored in qualifying play-off not counted when determining top scorer (see regulations, Article 77.4).[1][17]

Source: the-AFC.com[18][19][20]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "AFC Champions League 2015 Competition Regulations" (PDF). AFC.
  2. ^ "Revamp of AFC competitions". AFC. 25 January 2014.
  3. ^ "ExCo approves expanded AFC Asian Cup finals". AFC. 16 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "AFC MA Ranking as at 3 November 2014" (PDF). AFC.
  5. ^ "AFC Competitions Committee meeting". AFC. 28 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b "AFC Champions League slots allocated for 2015-2016". AFC. 4 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Slot allocation for ACL 2015 - 2016" (PDF). AFC.
  8. ^ "AFC Champions League 2015: The contenders..." AFC. 10 December 2014.
  9. ^ "CHÍNH THỨC: B.Bình Dương và Hà Nội T&T tham dự AFC Champions League 2015" (in Vietnamese). Vietnam Football Federation. 30 November 2014.
  10. ^ "AFC Calendar of Competitions 2015" (PDF). AFC.
  11. ^ "The Official Draw of the AFC Champions League 2015". NewTR.tv. 11 December 2014.
  12. ^ "The Official Draw for the AFC Champions League & AFC Cup 2015". NewTR.tv. 18 June 2015.
  13. ^ a b "AFC Champions League 2015 Draw". AFC. 12 December 2014.
  14. ^ a b c "Al Hilal to face Lekhwiya in ACL quarter-finals". AFC. 18 June 2015.
  15. ^ a b c "Hotshot Goulart adds awards to ACL title success". AFC. 22 November 2015.
  16. ^ "ACL2015 Dream Team". AFC Champions League. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Top Goal Scorers (by Stage) – 2015 AFC Champions League Playoff". AFC.com.
  18. ^ "Top Goal Scorers (by Stage) – 2015 AFC Champions League Group Stage". AFC.com.
  19. ^ "Top Goal Scorers (by Stage) – 2015 AFC Champions League Round of 16". AFC.com.
  20. ^ "Top Goal Scorers (by Stage) – 2015 AFC Champions League Knockout Stage". AFC.com.

External linksEdit